I am a senior undergrad in Texas, working on a typeface for my thesis this semester. My school doesn’t offer much if any education on type design so I was hoping to get some advice on my project. It is an interlocking sort of sans serif that requires a lot of alternates and possibly some coding/scripting.
Here is an image for an example. I am wondering what would be the best way to approach organizing my Glyphs file and setting this up. I am not sure how but I would like to be able to have the typeface automatically use the correct alternates so that it interlocks like in my example. I realize that I will have to make two variations for each character upper and lowercase, I just want to know if there is a way to code it to switch between alternates. I know fonts like Ed Interlock have a similar feature that I am wanting but I am ignorant of what it is called.
I’ll try not to be too specific, as figuring this out and getting it working is gratifying when you’re getting started with it.
You’re going to want to use OpenType features to achieve what you want. See the tutorials 1-4 on the Glyphs site ( start with https://glyphsapp.com/tutorials/features-part-1-simple-substitutions, and see if any of the information covered is applicable to your design scenario). You can write what you need in the features pane in the font info window (if you have the full Glyphs application and are not using Glyphs mini).
From reading that, it’s a nice exercise to deduce the logic of what you want your font to do. i.e: when does a glyph change - is there a strict rule for the glyph change? Think about that rule, and try and write that down into the OpenType feature language. This is a good guide to getting started with Opentype and thinking about it more broadly and not just within Glyphs: http://opentypecookbook.com (troubleshooting why something doesn’t work is bit easier with a bit more understanding).
As a starting hint; you’ll want to have a look at ‘classes’ to 1) learn some stuff, and 2) reduce the need to write far more code than you have to.
Perfect! I’ll get to reading those. I really appreciate the quick response and great insight. I have the full Glyphs so I’m looking forward to interacting with this community more. I’ll have to credit you for helping me figure this out, seriously did me a huge favor.